a visual journey
Follow along with us as adventurers take to the skies for the first time on a tandem, learn valuable paragliding skills or even catch a glimpse of pilots just goofing around!
A couple of weeks ago I got to hang out with a super fun group and take two very excited bloggers for tandems. Lucky for me, they brought along a professional photographer (www.yingerdesign.com) who happily shared his pictures of that day that looked like THIS! Wow! The cherry on top was this article written by that tiny and giggling lady running her heart out behind me in this photo. I will definitely be sharing more pictures from their weekend of adventures!
Almost 10 years ago, HPAC (Hang gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada) Board members began the process of working with Parks Canada to allow us to legally fly in our national parks. After endless meetings and environmental studies, a two-year test plan was devised with Jasper National Park in Alberta and the inaugural flights scheduled for last weekend. The HPAC board contacted me a few days beforehand when everything fell into place and asked if I would like to join them as a representative from BC and as an HPAC Instructor. Of course I said YES! immediately, and so found myself on a snow covered mountain on Saturday morning.
Pilots wishing to fly or land in Jasper are asked to review the procedures on the HPAC website (link is here). Right now Jasper is the only national park we are permitted to fly/land in, but if we can show we can adhere to the rules and guidelines, then more parks will follow suit.
There was plenty of media on launch that morning, but while we wait for the pictures to be published I'll share this screengrab from my GoPro as I inflated my beloved Skywalk Cayenne 4 into the crisp morning air beside the Jasper Skytram. Happy Flying!
I was looking for some friends to fly with on Sunday, but the only pilots coming out were planning a hike & fly. Still nursing my tweaked knee (that I got from hiking! See? Flying is so much safer!) I couldn't join in so decided to go kite my student wings instead. Taking the long way to the training hill so I could pass Mt Woodside, I soon heard from one pilot already on launch looking for a ride up to retrieve after he flew, then another on his way out. Perfect! Hammer & I had to wait a bit for an uphill breeze and then we both got to fly.
Here's a GoPro screenshot as I do a quick shoulder check before starting my reverse inflation. I got to fly through a few wispies before they disappeared...one of my favourite things!
Everyone loves to tell stories. While para-waiting Joe reenacted a previous launch, because as every hang - and paraglider pilot knows, you can't tell a flying story without using your arms!
Tyler & Kirstie (my paramotor students from this summer who came to learn unpowered flight) spent their winter holidays in Arizona. They added another skill to their flying toolbox as they got to go towing with some locals! A neat way to get some height…when I was in Arizona the guys took us to a park where I got a two-minute flight off a small hill. I think these two got the better deal, ha ha. Here's a video clip of Kirstie launching…watch for more pictures & videos soon!
Kelly rocking a forward launch at Woodside almost 10 years ago. New pilots will notice there are no black mats on launch to keep our wings nice and shiny!
According to the weather site recommended to me by a local, the weather looks fantastic for flying in Chelan, WA this weekend. Check out the Chelan weather link to stay in the loop and plan for your trip. And don't forget your flying costume! More info on the Chelan Fly-In here.
With all the rain we've had the last few days (and more predicted all week) people excited about winter sports are starting to talk snow. Time to start core and balancing exercises to be able to launch on that slippery stuff!
With such an incredible sky on Tuesday evening, I got so many incredible photos. Here's one of George launching as he tested out the new Skywalk Range Air harness.